We’ve talked about it in here, and they talk about it more in the ‘best of’… how Pete really does have a nose for the future. He consistently either has or recognizes a great idea. Only no one knows it but him. And, well, us, because of how we know how it turns out.

In the pilot, he suggests the ‘death wish’ idea that Don had vehemently dismissed, and everyone is horrified. But really, what do we think the symbolism behind Marlboro Country is?

He pitches the very excellent Bethlehem Steel tagline, the Backbone of America.

During a discussion about how to angle Israel tourism, Pete says, “Maybe we should try and exploit the danger, instead of fighting it. Travel as adventure.” This idea, while not being actively shot down by Don, was skimmed over.

He was the only one who liked the Volkswagen ad, which pissed everyone off. He recognizes the hip factor of Kennedy, calling him Elvis. The way I saw that, he wasn’t comparing the people, but the potential (and eventual) phenomenon of Kennedy to that of Elvis.

SEASON 2 SPOILER ALERT FROM THE PROMOS below the fold (more…)

A few thoughts about Helen Bishop in New Amsterdam.

She and Betty get pretty up close and personal, (though it pales in comparison with Glen Bishop’s version of up close and personal. But enough about that). With Helen and Betty you certainly never feel that they connect. Betty hears a lot about a marriage gone bad. It is probably the first time she’s ever heard these kinds of details from a divorcée.

Later in the episode, Betty tells Dr. Wayne, (aka “Mr. Personality”) that Helen is likely jealous of her.

Wait. Seriously? Umm… didn’t Helen witness Don walking out on Betty at Sally’s birthday party a few weeks earlier? More than witness it; she was part of the rescue committee, what with her Sara Lee cake.

There is this one moment I love; Don comes home late, sees Betty and Helen sitting on the couch, gives a very brief and polite hello and then slinks up the stairs. I found it hilarious. So much unspoken from Don—What the hell could they possibly be talking about? Damn, she’s my type. Wow, she knows I ran out on my kid’s birthday party. I am SO not allowed to talk to that woman.

And somehow I felt like Helen got all that subtext, and was unphased. Helen is a bit like Joan in her understanding of men and their responses to women. (more…)

Everyone (including, let’s be truthful, me) made fun of Bush for calling himself ” The Decider.” Typical Bushism—guy can’t speak, right?

In Long Weekend, there’s a Kennedy commercial on TV that Don and Pete watch. In it, Kennedy mocks Nixon for saying that as Eisenhower’s veep, Nixon made a lot of decisions and was a part of policy in the White House (sort of how Obama has mocked Clinton).

Anyway, in the commercial, a journalist refers to President Eisenhower as “the decider.” Which is sort of the opposite of an anachronism; it was treated as a coinage when Bush said it, but turns out, not so much.

In Long Weekend, we see Don and Rachel connecting the dots. Maybe the first time I saw the episode his arrival at her door came from nowhere, or maybe I was just taken with their mutual attraction, but on closer examination, they are connecting at a deep level.

We arrive at Sterling Cooper in a Nixon campaign meeting. Don wants to set aside current ad ideas and tell “the story” of Nixon. He calls Kennedy “a recent immigrant who bought his way into Harvard,” On the other hand,

“Nixon is from nothing. A self-made man, the Abe Lincoln of California, who was Vice President of the United States six years after getting out of the Navy. Kennedy, I see a silver spoon. Nixon, I see myself.”

He sees himself. He sure does; he came from nothing, went into the Army, came out a new man (literally) and in a short time (six years?) he was a big success.

Later the same day, there’s a Menken Department Store meeting. There, Don kind of poo-poos Abe (there’s that name again) Menken’s history of coming from nothing (like Lincoln; like Nixon). Rachel takes umbrage:

“Excuse me, this is not some phony story you people print in your Fourth of July circulars. My father actually started with nothing and he made it into everything we’re talking about. Who here can say that?”

Don. Don can say that. And although Rachel doesn’t know that about Don, he must feel like she’s looking right through him, and like he and she are the only two people in that room who understand each other.

So of course, that’s the night they sleep together. But more importantly, that’s the night he finally tells the truth about himself to another human being. And it’s so important, so powerful, that I offer it here in its entirey:

“You told me your mother died in childbirth. Mine did too. She was a prostitute. I don’t know what my father paid her but when she died they brought me to him and his wife. And when I was ten years old he died. He was a drunk who got kicked in the face by a horse. She buried him and took up with some other man. I was raised by those two sorry people.”

He came from nothing. She understands. She kisses his hair.